TAFT, Calif. (AP) â?? The sheriff of Kern County, Calif., says a 16-year-old student shot at a high school in rural Taft is in critical but stable condition.
Sheriff Donny Youngblood says the shooter is a student who walked into a class at Taft Union High School Thursday morning and shot the teen with a shotgun, and then fired at another student but missed. A teacher suffered a minor pellet wound to the head.
Youngblood says the teacher tried to get other students out a back door, then he and another staff member engaged the shooter in conversation to distract him, and convinced him to put down the gun.
THIS WAS A STORY UPDATE. Read earlier version below.
TAFT, Calif. (AP) â?? A student was shot and wounded at a rural San Joaquin Valley high school Thursday and another student was taken into custody, officials said.
The shooting occurred about 9 a.m. at Taft Union High School, a community of fewer than 10,000 people amidst oil and natural gas production fields about 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
The student who was shot was flown to a hospital in Bakersfield, said Ray Pruitt, spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff's Department. There was no immediate word on the victim's condition.
Pruitt said the suspect is a student, and a shotgun was used in the attack.
Kern County Fire Department Eric Coughran told KBAK-TV that another person suffered some type of injuries in the incident but refused medical attention.
KERO-TV Bakersfield reported that the station received phone calls from people inside the school who hid in closets.
It was not immediately clear how many students are enrolled at the high school, which teaches 9th through 12th grades.
The Taft shooting came less than a month after a gunman massacred 20 children and six women at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., then killed himself.
That shooting prompted President Barack Obama to promise new efforts to curb gun violence. Vice President Joe Biden, who was placed in charge of the initiative, said Tuesday in Washington, D.C., that he would deliver new policy proposals to the president by next week.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.